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Water: Monitoring & Assessment

Wetland Bioassessment Publications

Introductory Materials

Wetland Bioassessment Fact Sheets – introduces biological assessments, indices of biological integrity, the Biological Assessment of Wetlands Workgroup (BAWWG), and application of bioassessment methods.

On-Line Publications on Biological Indicators, Assessment, and Criteria – provides links to on-line publications from federal, state, and other sources.


"Assessing The Health of Wetland Life: Policy, Science and Practice," National Meeting of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Biological Assessment of Wetlands Workgroup (BAWWG) - May 14-16, 2001 in Orlando, Florida - provides links to presentations and posters.

Quebec 2000 Millennium Wetland Event held August 6-12, 2000, Quebec City, Canada. Proceedings include over 20 presentations on wetland bioassessment. For copies of the program, including abstracts of all presentations and posters, go to http://www.aswm.org/science/carbon/quebec/. Exit EPA Disclaimer

Wetlands: Biological Assessment and Criteria Development Workshop Proceedings, September 18-20, 1996, Boulder, Colorado – Provides abstracts of presentations and a summary of the last day's discussions.


National Database of Wetland Invertebrate Sensitivities to Enrichment and Hydrologic Alteration - This compressed file, WETINV.ZIP (398KB), includes a database cross-referenced to an annotated bibliography. The compressed file must first be downloaded and uncompressed. It can then be imported to a spreadsheet or database application, sorted, or searched. It lists aquatic insects and other invertebrate taxa that either have been documented to occur in wetlands of North America or can be assumed to occur in such environments based on their usual preference for lentic habitats. Information on sensitivity of each of about 2100 wetland species or taxa to hydrologic alteration or enrichment of wetlands is summarized when available. This information was extracted from 262 published sources primarily from North America. (Note: Download the file WETINV.ZIP (398KB) to your computer. You will then need to decompress the file using a file decompression application. After unzipping the file, open MUSTREAD.PDF or MUSTREAD.DOC using a word processing application for further directions.)

National Database of Wetland Plant Tolerances – a database on the tolerances of plant species to changes in hydrology and nutrients; last updated in March 2000. (Note: Download the file PDATABAS.ZIP (151KB) to your computer. You will then need to decompress the file using a file decompression application. After unzipping the file, open MUSTREAD.RTF using a word processing application for further directions.)

Literature Reviews

Indicators for Monitoring Biological Integrity of Inland, Freshwater Wetlands: A Survey of North American Technical Literature (1990-2000) (PDF) (219 pp, 708K, About PDF) - This literature review summarizes collected data on biological impacts that could result from wetland alterations. It is an update to "Impacts on Quality of Inland Wetlands of the United States..." which covers literature prior to 1990 (see below). Organized according seven organism assemblages, each chapter addresses ten human- related stressors.

Biological Criteria for Inland Freshwater Wetlands in Florida (ZIP, 632KB) - a comprehensive compilation of information on how specific stressors in Florida’s inland freshwater wetlands affect various species assemblages. This study is designed to assist Florida agencies in developing biological assessment programs and will help identify appropriate assemblages, methods and metrics for future studies.

Impacts on Quality of Inland Wetlands of the United States: A Survey of Indicators, Techniques, and Applications of Community Level Biomonitoring Data – Literature review of responses of wetland organisms to environmental stressors. Summarizes literature prior to 1990.

Irrigated Wetlands of the Colorado Plateau: Information Synthesis and Habitat Evaluation Method – Provides information about how to relate bird data from AREM to habitat information.

Bioindicators for Assessing Ecological Integrity of Prairie Wetlands – Literature review of responses of wetland organisms to environmental stressors, focusing on Prairie Wetlands. Summarizes literature prior to 1996.

Wetland Bioassessment Methods

Methods for Evaluating Wetland Condition - EPA has prepared a set of technical documents to give states and tribes "state-of-the-science" information that will help them develop biological assessment methods to evaluate both the overall ecological condition of wetlands and nutrient enrichment (one of the primary stressors on many wetlands). These modules are a starting point to help states and tribes establish biological and nutrient water quality criteria specifically refined for wetlands. When the work is completed, there will be 20 modules addressing the topic.

Further Evaluation of Diatom Periphyton as Indicators of Cultivation and Grazing Impairment in Montana Wetlands (PDF) (49 pp, 142K, About PDF) - As a follow up report to a 1999 study, this report is an analysis of diatom assemblages from 24 sites at two locations in order to evaluate the potential of diatoms as indicators of impairment due to cultivation and grazing.

Avian Richness Evaluation Method (AREM) – Model for evaluating condition of wetlands using bird assemblage. Developed for Colorado plateau region in 1992.

Condition, Values, and Loss of Natural Functions of Prairie Wetlands of the North-Central United States.

Conceptual Process Model for Basin-type Wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region.

Involving Volunteers in Wetland Bioassessments

The Volunteer Monitor issue on Wetlands (PDF) (102 pp, 64K, About PDF) – The Volunteer Monitor is a quarterly newsletter for volunteers monitoring aquatic systems. The spring 1998 issue focused on wetlands and includes some articles on bioassessments.

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